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Aerospace Engineering-Celebrating National Aviation Month Vol. 6 #7

Our Posterity = Our Children

Posterity comes from Middle English posterite, from Anglo-French pusterite, from Latin posterus ("coming after")


Last week we discussed some of the early pioneers of aviation. Without them we probably would not have the different flying machines that we have today! The original term for these women and men were Aeronautical Engineers. Today, they are known as Aerospace Engineers to include not just planes and helicopters, but spacecrafts, missiles and rockets as well!

Basic Principles

  • Aerodynamics - the study of fluid flow around objects such as wings

  • Propulsion - the energy to move a vehicle through the air (or in outer space) is provided by internal combustion engines, jet engines, or rockets

  • Control or Flight Dynamics - the study of maneuvering vehicles to achieve the desired position and attitude

  • Structures - design of the physical configuration of the craft to withstand the forces encountered during flight

  • Aeroelasticity - the interaction of aerodynamic forces and structural flexibility, potentially causing flutter, divergence, etc

For more information on these principles go to Kids.Net.Au


How do Helicopters work?

A helicopter's blades create lift and thrust that allow them to take off vertically, fly back and forth and hover. According to NASA, "The Bernoulli Principle describes how the speed of air and the pressure in the air are related. When the speed goes up, the pressure goes down and the opposite is also true."

How do Rockets work?

A rocket's engine uses fuel to create gas then pushes the gas out the back of the rocket to make it move. Like most engines, rocket engines do not need air to work. It carries everything that it needs. This is why a rocket can work in space with no air!

For more information visit


Engineering Design Process

The Engineering Design Process is a series of steps that are used when engineers are trying to work out a problem or they are building something.

Another thing that can also be learned by using this process is that not getting something right the first time is o.k! Failure gives way to future designs and brings an engineer one step closer to succeeding!




Engineering Activities




Let's Make a Paper Helicopter

Let's see who can design a paper helicopter that can hold the most weight and stays in the air the longest!


  • notebook paper

  • paper clips

  • ruler

  • measuring tape

  • stopwatch

For more information on this activity, visit Teach

Let's Make a Balloon Rocket

Let's see who can design a rocket that can reach the ceiling first!


  • paper cups

  • drinking straws

  • paper clips

  • sandwich bags

  • masking tape

  • clothespins

  • balloons

For more information see the Jet Propulsion Laboratory website.


#STEAM is our Approach

#LEARNING is our Goal We are Bright & Smart

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